50 years of magic: Walt Disney World kicks off 50th anniversary celebration

BAY LAKE, Fla. — Walt Disney World is celebrating 50 years of magic on Friday.

The theme park opened its doors exactly 50 years ago.

On Friday, Disney will debut two new nightly fireworks extravaganzas: “Harmonious” at Epcot and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom.

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To Cinderella Castle’s “ear-idescent” upgrades, Walt Disney World went all out to make its 50th anniversary one to remember.

It added 50 golden character statues spread across all four theme parks.

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New rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is now open at EPCOT and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will take off next year.

Accompanying all the new shows, fireworks, and rides is a collection of dishes, many honoring day one attractions at the Magic Kingdom, including a hamburger for “Mr. Toads Wild Ride” and a “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” drink.

READ: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will bring family-friendly thrills to EPCOT beginning in 2022

“We have been working on this, the food and beverage basket, for two years now and to your question we always want to make it taste great — we will make it look right but it’s fun,” said Disney Executive Chef Robert Gilbert.

The celebrations will continue for the next 18 months.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.